ISLAMABAD - The federal government has decided to make subsidy payments on urea and DAP fertilisers directly to farmers immediately to reduce prices.

The govt had decided to make subsidy payments directly to farmers immediately through Ministry of Food Security and provincial governments, so that DAP prices could be cooled down for farmers and this step would also ensure balanced applications of nitrogen & phosphate based fertilsers in soil by farmers. It was decided in a meeting pertaining to fertilser supplies during Kharif season. Fertilser Review Committee (FRC) met under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmud. The minister said that the government would discourage the compulsive purchase of DAP to farmers along with urea by dealers recently. The forum discussed the domestic production and demand of fertilisers as well as prices, subsidy plan and tracking & verification mechanism of fertilisers for Kharif season in backdrop of Prime Minister’s meeting on fertiliser. In yesterday’s meeting, the prime minister approved the various policy measures to ensure availability of fertilisers at affordable prices to farmers during Kharif season.

At onset of meeting, agricultural departments briefed the forum that there was 14% decline in DAP off take in last sowing season due to price inflation which means crops had received less application of phosphate component of fertiliser affecting crop output badly. The committee was told that there is dire need to provide balanced nutrients to soil for excessive grain production. The forum noted that non-registered fertilser dealers would be brought under verification mechanism and it had been made necessary for dealers to get registered with respective provincial departments to ensure smooth supply of fertilisers at district level. The manufacturers assured the registration of dealers with relevant provincial departments. In order to curb the hoarding and smuggling, the government had decided to set up a task force under Ministry of Interior consisting of law enforcement agencies, FBR and provincial departments to thwart cross border trafficking of urea. Speaking to meeting, the minister said that the government had geared up to implement vehicle registration, tracking and verification system to smoothen adequate and timely supply of key soil nutrients to farmers during Kharif season. Commenting on the recent price hike of urea by the industry, the minister remarked that the government would not tolerate unjustified price increase of urea. He added that the government is reverting urea price to old price ie Rs. 1768/bag to provide relief to farmers. He said, however, any justified increase in price would be notified by government later on after consulting with industry. The minister also assured the industry that government would address issues pertaining to outstanding payments of industry. He said that the govt had restored the gas supplies to fertiliser plants as per agreement and would continue to receive uninterrupted gas supplies for domestic production to support the farmers and the agriculture base of the country. Secretary for Industries and Production Jawwad Rafique Malik and senior officials of the Ministry also attended the meeting. The participants of meeting included representative of fertilisers manufacturing industry, dealers, Chief Secretary Punjab, and secretaries of provincial agri departments.